The Procession Continues

Latest sculpture by artist William Kentridge 
2002 by Andries Loots

Reflecting on the work of artist William Kentridge, undeniably conjures up images of movement and music in a desolated landscape as backdrop but lately also of black shadow figures in procession across this landscape.

With the launch of his " Procession " series comprising 26 bronze sculptures at the Stephen Friedman Gallery, London in May 2000 and later the Goodman Gallery,  Johannesburg, the audience looked in admiration at the figures, although static in bronze,  they were still on parade,  marching towards an unseen objective. This march was lead by a busty woman preceded by 25 sometimes oddly looking figures, some carrying a heavy burden,  a fat man reading a book,  a megaphone man,  scissors women and even a man standing in a bath taking a shower. This was the first time the artist, director, filmmaker, printmaker and animator explored this new medium to extend his already impressive genre.

The Procession seems to have been continuing for some time now and the marchers haven't reached their destination yet. The figures have recurred in some form or the other in the latest works and also came to " life " with his recently completed commission for NEDCOR Head Office in Sandton unveiled in May 2000  where four more than life-sized bronze figures walk on a bridge 8 meters from the ground. 

This " Procession " is again lead by a busty jubilant lady followed by a man carrying megaphones on his back and an oar in the other,  followed by the man reading a book and last in line, overlooking the group, is the striking Pylon lady with her gaze firmly focused on their goal... 

The maquette  called " Four Figures on a Bridge "  edition of only 7, was released in November 2001. This work like the previous " Procession Series " is also done in relief and  represents the shadow figures which we have become accustomed to in Kentridge's latest plays like 'Confessions' currently showing abroad. The sculpture rests on two specially selected sets of  books.

 These powerful figures will unquestionably reappear as they form part of William's lexicon through which he communicates with his audience.

[ back ]